George W. Boyce, Jr
Second Lieutenant George W. Boyce, Jr. was a United States Army officer who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions during the battle of the Driniumor River, near Afua, Dutch New Guinea in July 1944.
Boyce was born in New York City on 10 October 1916. His family consisted of his father, George William Gerow Boyce, his mother, Katherine and two sisters, Dorothy L., and Adel P.
On 11 March 1941 Boyce enlisted in the Army from the town of Cornwall, New York. On 25 January 1944, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant from the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) Officer Candidate School, located at Camp Columbia, Wacol in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He was subsequently assigned to Troop A, 1st Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team, which was attached to the 32nd Infantry Division. In July 1944, the Japanese attempted to attack the American positions in the Dutch New Guinea by flanking inland to Afua, in the Toricelli Mountains. The fighting was fierce, oForten devolving into hand-to-hand combat. On 23 July 1944, in the battle of Driniumor River, Boyce was leading an attack, as the main effort of his Troop, when an enemy-thrown grenade landed near his men. Boyce smothered the blast with his own body, sacrificing himself to protect those around him. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 7 April 1945. Boyce is buried at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, the Philippines.
Named in his honor, the United States Army ship, the Lt. George W. G. Boyce, a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship, operated in the Pacific Theater until the end of World War II. She subsequently served the Army until 1950 when she was transferred to the United States Navy at the start of the Korean War. During her wartime service, she earned four battle stars. She continued in active Navy service until 1973 when she was decommissioned and subsequently scrapped. Lieutenant Boyce’s military awards include the Medal of Honor, World War II Victory Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.